All about nesting in pregnancy

As the baby’s due date approaches, you might notice your partner starting to ‘nest’ by cleaning and organising things around your home.

And if you’ve found yourself spending the best part of your weekends looking for a pram, cot or other equipment, you’re not alone.

Nesting isn’t a ‘trend’ or something that pregnant women make up. It’s a natural urge that helps women feel in control of their environment, and also a key part of childbirth preparation. It happens in nature – many animal mothers prepare a den or a nest to make sure their babies will be safe and secure.

So nesting isn’t just about buying baby clothes or equipment. It’s also part of your partner’s mental preparation for becoming a mum and making your home baby friendly.

How to support your partner with nesting

If your partner is nesting, getting into home preparations with her can help strengthen your relationship. She might also appreciate you telling her that she’s doing a good job, or that you think she’ll be a great mum.

Either way, being understanding about nesting is an important part of supporting your partner in the run-up to birth. You might find yourself wanting to get your home ready for baby as well.

My partner kept rearranging furniture. I remember thinking, ‘How many different ways can the TV, the couch and the table be?’ Luckily, I knew what to expect from reading and conversation with others, so I thought, ‘This must be what nesting is’. I understood that she was rearranging the living space around her to be comfortable. If I hadn’t been prepared, I would have found it odd.
– Milton, father of one

Things you can do

  • Try to understand why your partner might be cleaning things that haven’t been cleaned in years, hiring or buying baby items and washing baby clothes. It’s part of getting ready to be a mum.
  • If your partner starts on a nesting frenzy, try telling her that you think she’ll be a great mum and you appreciate what she’s doing to get things ready for your baby.
  • Get involved in preparing your home for your baby.